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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Totality of Islamic Way of Life

Belief in the hereafter divides people into three distinct categories. First, there are those who do not believe in the hereafter and regard life on this earth as the ultimate. Naturally, they judge good and evil by the results, which manifest themselves in this world. If an action produces beneficial results it is good, and if it brings about harmful results, it is evil. Quite often the same action is regarded as good when the results are good, a bad when its results are bad.

Second, there are people who do not deny the hereafter, but who depend on the intercession or atonement of someone to absolve them to their sins. Among them there are some who regard themselves as Allah’s chosen people, who will receive only nominal punishment, however grave their sins. This deprives them of the moral advantage, which they could have derived from their belief in the hereafter. As a result, they also become very much like the people who deny the hereafter.

Third, there are those who believe in the hereafter in the form in which Islam presents it. They do not delude themselves that they have any special relationship with Allah or that anyone can intercede on their behalf. They know that they alone are responsible for their actions. For them, the belief in the hereafter becomes a great moral force. A person who has the conviction that he is fully accountable for all his actions finds a permanent guard stationed within himself, who cautions him and admonishes him whenever he deviates from the right path. There may be no court to summon him, no policeman to apprehend him, no witness to accuse him, and no public opinion to press him; but the guard within him is ever on the alert, ready to seize him whenever he transgresses. The consciousness of this inner presence makes man fear Allah, even when hi is all by himself.

He discharges his duties honestly, and refrains from doing anything prohibited. Should he succumb to temptation and violate the law of ALLAH, he is ever ready to offer sincere regrets; he is willing to enter into a firm contract with the future that he will not repeat the mistake. There can be no greater instrument of moral reformation nor any better method to help men to develop a sound and stable character. It is the hereafter, which helps men, under all circumstances, to conform to Allah’s scheme of permanent values. It is for this reason that Islam attaches great importance to the belief in the hereafter, and without it even the belief in ALLAH and the Prophet (PBUH) is not sufficient for man’s guidance.

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